All posts by Sue Hill

Engineering Graduates on What Makes a Husky

Commencement Spring 2019One of more than 1,000 students who walked across the stage during Saturday’s ceremony was student commencement speaker Monica Brechting of Grand Rapids, who is the 12th member of her family to attend Tech.

The mechanical engineering major was active on campus, being part of St. Albert the Great University Parish, playing piccolo in the Huskies Pep Band, was team lead of Robotics System Enterprise and president of Tech’s chapter of Silver Swings, a national community service organization.

Brechting’s speech, “What Makes a Husky?” took fellow graduates through a host of common experiences.

Rebecca Spencer, a mechanical engineering major, got her first exposure to Tech through the Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP), which brought students up for the Summer Youth Program.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Garrett Neese.

View the Photo Gallery


Former President Ray Smith Included in Oral History Collection

Raymond Smith
Raymond Smith

Former Michigan Tech president, the late Raymond L. Smith is among 15 oral histories included in a collection by the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers (AIME).

The section on Smith, who passed away last September at the age of 101, includes a written biography, a 50 minute interview video and the interview transcript.

Smith, Michigan Tech’s president from 1965 to 1979, is a recipient of the TMS/ASM Joint Distinguished Leadership in Materials and Society Award (1983) and the TMS Fellow Award (1973).


Williams Seed Grant Funds Underwater Acoustic Communications Research

Zhaohui Wang
Zhaohui Wang

Underwater acoustic communication has been in use for decades, but primarily for military applications. In recent years, private sectors such as environmental monitoring, off-shore oil and gas exploration, and aquaculture have become interested in its possibilities.

But existing research about underwater acoustic communication networks often relies on human-operated surface ships or cost-prohibitive autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs). And these cost barriers can limit academic research evaluation to computer simulations, constraining research innovation towards practical applications.

Recognizing the above gap, Michigan Tech Institute of Computing and Cybersystems (ICC) researchers Zhaohui Wang, assistant professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Nina Mahmoudian, adjunct professor, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, saw an opportunity to combine their areas of expertise: for Wang, underwater acoustic communications, for Mahmoudian, low-cost marine robotics and AUVs.

Also part of the research team were PhD student Li Wei, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and post-doc research engineer Barzin Moridian, Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics. The team also collaborated with scientists at Michigan Tech’s Great Lakes Research Center.

With a $50K seed grant from Electrical and Computer Engineering alumnus Paul Williams ’61, the team took the research beneath the surface to develop a low-cost marine mobile infrastructure and investigate the challenges and possible solutions in engineering a leading-edge AUV communication network.

Download a summary of the research from the ICC website at icc.mtu.edu/downloads.

Read more at ICC News, by Karen Johnson, ICC Communications Director.

Related:

Zhaohui Wang Wins CAREER Award


Tour of Sustainability House

Meghan Schultz
Meghan Schultz

This 5,000 square foot residence was home to former Michigan Tech University presidents. But now, students have turned it into a new sustainability demonstration house.

“You know we have to care about our environment, we have to care about our future and just like you plan to put money into a retirement account, you should plan to live sustainably so that you can account for the future,” said Meghan Schultz, the house’s residential advisor.

Read more and watch the video at TV6 Fox UP, by Remi Murrey.

Sustainable Living: Tech students show ecological responsibility

House residents and members of the SDH enterprise team will be at the SDH to explain how to implement sustainable practices in any home and explain projects like the new plastic recycling project. Plastic refuse is going to be collected and reshaped into useful items. The first thing on the list is house numbers.

Warren Krettek
Warren Krettek

“Right now the house doesn’t have any,” Warren Krettek said.

Krettek is a graduating Michigan Tech student who has been leading the enterprise team as their project manager. The team designs and implements projects around the house like resource tracking, aquaponics and composting.

Read more at the Mining Gazette, by Joshua Vissers.

Meghan Schultz is a third-year geological engineering major.

Warren Krettek is a senior with a dual electrical and computer engineering major.

Related:

This Old House Teaches U.P. Residents, and an Appliance Manufacturer, New Tricks


2019 Student Leadership Award Recipients

Andrew Baker '11 '14
Andrew Baker ’11 ’14

Outstanding students, staff, and a special alumni were honored April 19, 2019, for Michigan Tech’s 25th Annual Student Leadership Awards Ceremony.

Keynote speaker Andrew H. Baker ’11 ’14 (MS, PhD MSE), won the Outstanding Young Alumni Award. He is currently working for Boeing Company and active in his professional organization The Minerals, Metals, & Materials Society.

Congratulations to all of the 2019 winners:

  • President’s Award for Leadership: Jack Hendrick
  • Dean of Students Award for Service: Elise Cheney-Makens
  • Exceptional Leadership in Student Governance Award: Apurva Baruah
  • Exceptional Enthusiasm as Student Leader Award: Ben Metzger
  • Student Employee of the Year: Jessika Rogers
  • Rising Star of the Year: Logan Alger.
  • Outstanding Future Alumni: Magann Dykema
  • Exceptional Program of the Year: Economics Club’s 2018 KHOB Economic Outlook
  • Most Improved Student Organization: Alpha Psi Omega Theatre Honor Society
  • Exceptional Community Service Project: Elise Cheney-Makens, Science Fair Mentoring Program
  • Claire M. Donovan Award: Joel Isaacson
  • Student Organization of the Year: Inter-Residence Housing Council
  • Percy Julian Award: Ron Kyllonen
  • Student Organization Advisors of the Year: James DeClerck, Delta Upsilon and Jean DeClerck, Alpha Sigma Tau
  • The Provost’s Award for Scholarship: Tessa Steenwinkel, Biological Sciences
  • Exceptional Graduate Student Leader: Karina Eyre, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Exceptional Graduate Student Scholar: Miles Penhale, ME-EM
  • Exceptional Graduate Mentor: Melissa F. Baird, Social Sciences
  • Exceptional Staff Member: Brittany Buschell, Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences
  • Sorority Woman of the Year – Greta Colford, Alpha Gamma Delta
  • Fraternity Man of the Year – Trevor Peffley, Sigma Rho
  • Sorority of the Year – Alpha Gamma Delta
  • Fraternity of the Year – Phi Kappa Tau

By Student Activities.

Related:

Pavlis Students Shine at 25th Annual Student Leadership Awards

View the Medallion Ceremony Photo Gallery


2019 Research Excellence Fund Recipients in Engineering

Congratulations to the 2019 Research Excellence Fund recipients. Awards are given by the Vice President for Research Office in various categories, with the following recipients awarded in the College of Engineering.
Total Organic Carbon Analyzer

Infrastructure Enhancement (IE) Grant

Paul Fraley (MSE/IMP) – Induction Power Supply Replacement for Melt Spinner
Cory McDonald (CEE/GLRC) – Acquisition of a Shimadzu TOC-LCPH
Stephen Kampe (MSE) – Moisture and Oxygen Analyzers for Inert Atmosphere Glove Boxes

Research Seed (RS) Grants

Lei Pan (Chem Eng)

Portage Health Foundation (PHF) Research Seed (RS) Grants

Smitha Rao (Biomed)

Portage Health Foundation (PHF) Mid-Career (MC)

Jingfeng Jiang (Biomed)

A big thanks to the volunteer review committees, the deans, and department chairs for their time spent on this important internal research award process.


Deans’ Teaching Showcase: Tim Schulz

Tim Schulz
Tim Schulz

College of Engineering Dean Janet Callahan has selected Tim Schulz (ECE) as the final member of the 2019 Deans’ Teaching Showcase. As a teacher he is widely acknowledged as one of the ECE departments best, with his friendly, humorous style and his devotion to his students’ learning. But Schulz’s selection here is, according to Associate Dean Leonard Bohmann for his “leadership in using technology to deliver technical material in electrical and computer engineering.”

Starting in 2012, Schulz created a series of 10 to 15 minute videos collectively titled “Electric Circuits” and posted them on YouTube. Though he created them with his EE2111 (Electric Circuits 1) class in mind, they are reaching a much wider audience. In fact, one titled “Introduction to Thevenin Equivalent Circuits” has gotten more than 152,000 views.

Since that time, Schulz has also developed a phone app of randomized electric circuit problems to use in this course. He develops these aids so students can develop a mastery of the course material. As one student noted, “The videos and the infinite practice problems were the most helpful. As much as I hate to say this, the quizzes were also helpful.”

In his courses, Schulz develops from scratch his own interactive web-based approach to homework sets and quizzes, taking full advantage of the capabilities of Canvas and writing his own scripts for generating homework problems with randomized parameters. His colleagues recognize this, and some have adopted Schulz’s materials when they teach the same classes.

Most recently, Schulz has taken the lead in developing new courses for the online MSEE program with a focus on communications and signal processing, in partnership with Keypath Education, Inc. He developed and is teaching for the second time, EE5300, Mathematical and Computational Methods in Engineering, which is the entry point into the program.

His course engages students through a series of interactive MATLAB computational exercises which meet modern standards for online course delivery and are breaking new ground for the ECE Department.

Students find this approach to be very helpful. One said, “The canvas structure paired with the lecture truly was a great combination. The prep work must have been substantial but was well worth it.”

Another provides even broader praise of both Schulz and the course by saying, “The course is excellent and engaging. Overall, I think this class is a must for any student wishing to have a solid starting foundation in graduate studies in engineering. Dr. Schulz is an outstanding professor with extensive research and professional experience and I would totally recommend students to take this class.”

Schulz is currently developing the third course for the online MSEE program, EE5500 Probability and Stochastic Processes, which will be taught for the first time this summer. He agrees that developing an online course is much more rigorous then teaching face-to-face, saying “You need to do more planning of how to approach a topic. You don’t have the ease of correcting an approach (or even an equation) in real time, so it is a much more deliberate process.”

However, this higher level of rigor is a challenge he enjoys; he’s already signed on to develop his next course, EE5521 Detection and Estimation Theory, which will be offered online for the first time sometime in 2020-2021 academic year.

Callahan emphasizes that it’s really about the technology enabling better learning. In her words, “Tim Schulz’s effective use of technology shows that student learning and satisfaction can both increase with the use of modern tools.”

Schulz will be recognized at an end-of-term luncheon with other showcase members and is now elgible for one of three new teaching awards to be given by the William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning this summer recognizing introductory or large class teaching, innovative or outside the classroom teaching methods, or work in curriculum and assessment.

By Michael R. Meyer, Director William G. Jackson Center for Teaching and Learning.


Three Students Awarded NSF Graduate Research Fellowships

Rose Turner
Rose Turner

Three students from Michigan Tech received fellowships from the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF-GRFP), one of the oldest and most prestigious programs in the nation. In addition, one student received Honorable Mention in the national program.

Rose Turner, Gabriela Shirkey and Helena Keller were named GRFP Fellows while Katelyn Kring received Honorable Mention.

Turner, from Berkley, Michigan, graduated from Michigan Tech in December with a bachelor’s in environmental engineering. She was the student speaker for Fall Commencement and is planning to pursue graduate studies in Environmental Engineering here at Michigan Tech

Kring graduated from Michigan Tech in December and is continuing as a first-year master’s student in Tech’s Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering.

Shirkey, from Manitou Beach, Michigan, graduated from Michigan Tech in the Fall of 2013 in scientific and technical communications and is currently studying geography at Michigan State University.

Keller, from Elk River Minnesota, graduated from Tech in Spring 2014 with a degree in Chemistry. She is currently studying macromolecular, supramolecular and nanochemistry at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

THE NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.

By the Graduate School.


Support for MiSTEM Advisory Council

MiSTEM Networks in the UP colored map
MiSTEM Networks in the UP, Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget

Jacqueline Huntoon, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, is the principal investigator on a project that has received a $385,136 grant from the State of Michigan, Department of Education.

Christopher Wojick (CEE), Stephanie Tubman (Provost Office), Douglas Oppliger (EF) and Amanda Gonczi (GLRC) are Co-PIs on the project “2018-19 MiSTEM Advisory Council Grant.”

This is a one-year project.

By Sponsored Programs.


ASTM Award for Glass Strength Researcher Stephen Morse

Stephen Morse ASTM Award 2019
Stephen Morse (left) accepts the ASTM Award.

Stephen Morse was awarded an American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International Committee Award of Appreciation for his outstanding contributions to the Standard Practice for Determining Load Resistance of Glass in Buildings (E1300) and the Subcommittee (E06.52) on Glass Use in Buildings.

He was recognized for his work on greatly improved design methodologies for architectural window glass.

Morse holds a joint appointment as an assistant professor in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics and Civil and Environmental Engineering.